being in a sorority takes a lot of time and effort, not to mention all the other responsibilities of being an active college student! is it possible to be a chapter leader, maintain your GPA, have outside interests, attend mandatory events, keep fit, work an internship, have a boyfriend, and a dozen other responsibilities? expert time management is the only way to make it work…….
1. keep a time diary: record all your activities for 1 week and see where your time goes! you will discover exactly how much time you spend drinking coffee, talking with friends or watching tv. take note of your unproductive periods and decide how you can tighten them up or multitask.
2. make a daily schedule: any activity that’s important to you should have a time assigned to it. this would include things like classes, meals, exercise, chapter meetings, volunteering, personal hygiene and social time. determine what are your top priorities.
3. keep an agenda: lilly pulitzer makes it so stylish to stay organized! use your agenda to schedule appointments, write to-do lists and stay on track every day. each event should have start and end time. this will keep you from wasting time between classes or after sorority meetings.
4. rate your agenda: once you plan your daily tasks, rate them A-B-C in priority, with A items being highest. for example: taking a midterm exam = A. crafting for your little = B. shopping for new shoes = C.
5. start the day off right: take the first 15 minutes of every day to plan your day ahead. don’t step out the door until you complete your plan. this is the most important part of daily time management.
6. just say no to social media: when you need to study or work on your sorority project, you absolutely must put up the “do not disturb” sign on your phone and computer. valuable time is wasted when you interrupt your productive session by answering texts or tweeting about last night’s mixer. block out your tech noise and you will see much better results.
7. organize your space: an efficient workplace is a must. use your desk and keep it well stocked. studying on the bed, in the coffee shop, in the park, are all fine once in a while, but for managing your time to the max, you need a designated work area.
8. set short term and long term goals: write down your goals for the week, the month, the semester, even the year. refer to this master list periodically and see how you are progressing. re-adjust as things develop. use this tool to keep you on track over the long haul.
9. don’t procrastinate: putting things off until the last minute is a killer. it elevates your stress levels and makes you feel overwhelmed. don’t cram for tests or stay up all night crafting name tags. it’s not worth the anxiety.
10. learn to say “no”: achievers always get asked to do more. when the chapter realizes you are a productive member, they will ask you to take on more responsibility. there may come a time when you need to say “no”. do this politely, with a promise to help again in the future when your schedule allows. if you don’t pace yourself, you will burnout and start feeling very resentful. learn when to say yes and no during your 4 years in college.
11. be flexible when needed: the unexpected happens. car trouble, sickness, family emergencies, etc. you need to fit these things into your schedule, and not get upset by the change in your routine. don’t become a slave to your agenda! remember, you manage it, it doesn’t manage you.
12. write a mission statement: what’s most important to you? create your own personal mission statement. when you establish your personal and academic/career goals, you will see if your activities are helping you reach those long-term dreams. maybe the sorority task you have been grumbling about, is actually giving you valuable experience in public relations ~ your future career field. defining your mission will help you see through the haze of your busy life, and clarify what’s most valuable.
13. be positive: having a positive attitude is everything. a happy heart goes a long way to balancing the demands on your time. be a glass-half-full kind of girl. it will aid you in accomplishing all of your priorities.
14. important vs urgent: learn the difference between the important and the urgent. what’s important is not always urgent. what’s urgent is not always important.
15. worst first: all things being equal, do the hardest, least fun thing first. just get it over with!
16. set a time for communication: check your emails or voicemails at a set time every day. don’t get lost in your messages and loose valuable time. same goes for facebook, tumblr, pinterest, etc. set a time to check your social media, read your favorite blog, post some photos, but don’t get swallowed up in it and loose hours and hours of your day.
17. value your time: sisters who wander into your room and chat when you must study for a final, are not respecting your time. you must set boundaries. when you value your own time, then others will too.
18. leadership time management: busy girls are usually the ones who are also the chapter officers. to manage this you must learn to delegate! don’t be the sorority martyr and do everything yourself. it never works, it kills your spirit and it doesn’t engage your fellow members in the project. leading means sharing the load and managing others ~ not carrying all of formal rush, or the annual gala, on your back! delegate. delegate.
19. be early: don’t be afraid to finish a project early! it takes that task off your list and calms your nerves. try being early to meetings and events too. constantly running late, rushing, loosing things, and stressing is exhausting and depressing. try a new early bird lifestyle and you will be amazed at how much better you feel!
20. focus your excellence: it’s better to excel at a few things, than be average at many. cherry pick your involvements and be the best at what you do. you can’t belong to every club on campus, have a double major, be chapter president, work a part time job, see a steady boyfriend, volunteer at three different charities and expect to do everything to the best of your abilities. choose a few things that make you shine. reward yourself when you accomplish your goals. treat yourself to a new bracelet or new perfume when you achieve what you set out to achieve. give yourself a much deserved pat on the back!
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